March 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Index Declined

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey index declined but remains in expansion. Overall this survey remains near the lowest values seen in almost two years.

Analyst Opinion of Empire State Manufacturing Survey

With both the main index and key indices declining, this was a worse report than last month.

Econintersect reminds you that this is a survey (a quantification of opinion). Please see caveats at the end of this post. However, sometimes it is better not to look too deeply into the details of a noisy survey as just the overview is all you need to know

  • Expectations from Econoday were between 8.0 to 14.1 (consensus 10.0) versus the 3.7 reported. Any value above zero shows expansion for the New York area manufacturers.
  • New orders sub-index of the Empire State Manufacturing improved and remains in expansion, whilst the unfilled orders sub-index improved but remains in contraction
  • This noisy index has moved from , 22.5 (March 2018), 15.8 (April), 20.1 (May), 25.0 (June), 22.6 (July), 25.6 (August), 19.0 (September), 21.1 (October), 23.2 (November), 10.9 (December), 3.9 (January 2019), 8.8 (February) - and now 3.7

From the report:

Business activity grew only slightly in New York State, according to firms responding to the March 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell five points to 3.7. New orders increased only marginally, while shipments grew modestly. Delivery times and inventories held steady. Labor market indicators pointed to an increase in employment, but a small decline in hours worked. The prices paid index moved higher for the first time in four months, pointing to a pickup in input price increases, while the prices received index moved lower, indicating a slowing in selling price increases. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained fairly optimistic about future conditions.


Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded only slightly. The general business conditions index fell five points to 3.7, its third consecutive monthly reading below 10, suggesting that growth has remained quite a bit slower so far this year than it was for most of 2018. Thirty percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 25 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index fell five points to 3.0, indicating that orders grew at a slower pace than last month. The shipments index declined three points to 7.7, a level indicating that shipments grew modestly, though representing the lowest reading in more than two years. Unfilled orders inched higher, and delivery times and inventories were little changed.

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